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Photo archivist Josh Green’s free talk to offer ‘direct window into Fredericton’s past’

Ever wanted to see footage of how Frederictonians partied in the 1890s?

On Thursday, Jan. 18, Josh Green, photograph archivist at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, will be delivering a free talk at the Archives Building on campus, offering a photographic glimpse into Fredericton’s past.

The lecture is being presented by the York-Sunbury Historical Society, a long-standing heritage organization which has been collecting historical material for about 90 years, and holds regular free public talks throughout the year. Green’s talk is a follow-up to one he was invited to give last year, in which he discussed some of the first photographs ever taken of Fredericton, up until Confederation. This time, he’ll be covering the period from 1867-1900, and showing how Fredericton changed and developed from a British North American colonial capital into a Canadian provincial capital.

Green, a NB native and STU alumnus, believes that one of the most interesting things he discusses in the talk is misconceptions surrounding “the ‘resolution’ of old photographs.”

“Most people have only seen historic photos reproduced as grainy or pixelated little images that look rather boring,” he says. “In fact, many 19th century photographs have a level of quality or resolution that far exceeds even many digital photos taken today. The high res scans of historic negatives which I will show reveal the remarkable level of detail captured in photos in the 1800s and provides and remarkable new window directly into the past.”

The talk presents audience members with many interesting glimpses into the city’s past, and “students who are interested in learning about the rich visual history…should enjoy seeing high resolution historic photographs of the province, often for the first time.”

Some of the photos being offered have only recently been discovered.

“Since my last talk I have discovered one more of the ‘first photographs of Fredericton’—there are now three known photos taken in 1857. I’ll talk about and show that photo. The talk will also show how Fredericton has changed since 1867: I will compare places in the 1800s with how they look today to show differences side-by-side, and I will show architecture and activities which have long-since vanished from Fredericton.”

The presentation also offers samples of historic photos on display, so that people can handle and check out what photos looked like from the 1840s-1890s, including photos on glass, metal, paper, etc.

In addition, Green will offer glimpses into some of the quirkier aspects of the city’s past.

“People may get a kick out of seeing things like an 1890s Fredericton party, the oldest example of ‘photo-bombing’ I’ve ever seen,” he hinted.

Josh Green’s presentation is free, and begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.

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